Tag Archives: Protocols Redux

The Park 51 Nontroversy Is Now the Singular Gubernatorial Campaign “Issue”

20 Aug

I just watched Rick Lazio tell me on the teevee how horribly awful a “Ground Zero Mosque” (it’s neither) is, and what an affront to American Americanness and feeling feelingness a Muslim-run equivalent of a YMCA in a densely populated lower Manhattan would be.

Lazio has zero traction, and less money, so it was fascinating to see that this ad was “paid for by the NYS Conservative Party”.

We have a state that’s $9 billion in the hole, a horribly dysfunctional governmental structure, skyrocketing spending and costs, layer upon redundant layer of governments, authorities, and special taxing districts, unfunded mandates hurting counties, school cutbacks, and myriad other big, serious issues that concern serious people throughout New York.

But Rick Lazio and Carl Paladino want to talk about the Muslim hordes riding roughshod through ‘Murrka, vying to be the xenophobic, paranoiac King Richard to defeat the Saracens.

Both of them should be ashamed of themselves, and I’m sincerely interested to see how this new Republican campaign strategy of quite literally demonizing religious and ethnic minorities. Except Cubans.

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Terrorist-sympathizing Imam? Seriously? They’re not just going to lie about this project, they’re going to libel Rauf? I know Tom “I love cats and gardening” Bauerle will stoop to endlessly repeating – almost in a loop – a call a 9/11 victim made just as one of the Towers fell that morning. Bauerle is perfectly ok exploiting a man’s death to libel an entire religion. But why is Rick Lazio, the ostensible “serious” Republican candidate for New York State Governor using images from 9/11 to sell his campaign? If New Yorkers have had “enough”, why would he deliberately evoke the memories of the greatest tragedy to befall New York to win a campaign against a fellow New Yorker? Does Lazio think that the regular, hardworking Muslims who live, work, and pray in Manhattan destroyed those towers?

Obviously, the Republicans don’t want (or deserve) a single vote from Muslim New Yorkers. To them, Muslim New Yorkers don’t count. They are disposable. Lazio and Paladino would not deign to represent them should they ever be elected.

Because 9/11 wasn’t perpetrated by a Muslim stockbroker, banker, lawyer, doctor, shopkeeper, waiter, restaurant owner, or straphanger who prays in lower Manhattan every day, several times a day. Yet that is who is being libeled and demonized by the Republicans not just in New York, but nationwide.

After 9/11, the country was not only unified as seldom before, but the Bush Administration continuously made it clear that the US was not at war with Islam or Muslims – just against the terrorists who perpetrated these crimes and promote violent expansionist Jihadism. That has now changed, and the Republicans do now perceive the US to be at war with Islam – including those who pray to Allah and were born in this country, love this country, pay their taxes, and attend their kids’ soccer games.

That must be why the Bush Administration retained the services of that “terrorist sympathizing” Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf to promote interfaith peace and understanding.

Every day the Republican Party and its leadership becomes, quite frankly, more and more fascistic. To base an entire campaign for Governor on hating an entire religion is a very ugly thing indeed. It’s a thin line between that and advocating for Muslims’ expulsion from America and exclusion from American life.

UPDATE: From Rob in comments:

‘In 2003, Imam Rauf [the imam behind the Cordoba House project] was invited to speak at a memorial service for Daniel Pearl, the journalist murdered by Islamist terrorists in Pakistan. The service was held at B’nai Jeshurun, a prominent synagogue in Manhattan, and in the audience was Judea Pearl, Daniel Pearl’s father. In his remarks, Rauf identified absolutely with Pearl, and identified himself absolutely with the ethical tradition of Judaism. “I am a Jew,” he said.

“We are here to assert the Islamic conviction of the moral equivalency of our Abrahamic
faiths. If to be a Jew means to say with all one’s heart, mind and soul Shma` Yisrael, Adonai Elohenu Adonai Ahad; hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One, not only today I am a Jew, I have always been one, Mr. Pearl.” ’

Here.

This guy definitely shouldn’t build an Islamic cultural center 3 blocks from the WTC site, if it would hurt someone’s feelings.